One of the opportunities through which economies can achieve long-run economic growth is through investment in human capital. Human capital, as easy as we can define it, corresponds to any stock of knowledge or characteristics a person has (either innate or acquired) that contributes to his or her ‘productivity’. As Doyle (2011) noted, governments and non-government organizations (NGOs) alike are well-aware of this, and many attempt to subsidize human capital investment by supplying welfare (health and education) services at little or no cost to individuals. However, Doyle added, “the level of human capital investment remains dependent on an individual’s demand for these services. Consequently, understanding the link between household characteristics and propensity to invest in children’s human capital can help improve targeting of government policy and increase the efficiency of international aid”.
In 1993, Louat, Grosh and van der Gaag’s study about female headship implications on child welfare in Jamaica showed results that children in female-headed households have, by large, equal access to social services and equally good welfare outcomes as children in male-headed households.
In addition, they found evidence of small differences in resource use between the two types of households (male vs. female headed). Their analyses of household expenditures showed that female-headed households spend no more on food than do male headed households. However when more detailed food expenditures are looked at, the differences are more pronounced. For instance, female headships appear to be associated with spending on higher quality food items such as meat, vegetables, mi...
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...see Figure 3).
In particular, female heads that were heads of families in the upper 70 percent income group were more highly educated than their male counterpart. Of all female heads, 17 percent were college graduates. A higher proportion of college graduates (23 percent) were reported for female heads of families in the upper 70 percent income group. Those with some years in college made up 15 percent.
On the other hand, 14 percent of male heads of families in the upper 70 percent income group were college graduates, while 15 percent were college undergraduates. In contrast, female heads of families in the bottom 30 percent income group had lower educational attainment than their male counterparts, although a slightly higher proportion of them were college graduates compared to male heads (2 percent for females compared to 1 percent for males) (see Table 4).
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